Woody’s Bar-B-Q® of Fernandina Reopens Under New Ownership
Classic Southern BBQ Chain Introduces New Franchisee to Established Northeast Florida Fanbase
June 12, 2020 // Franchising.com // Jacksonville, Fl. - Classic Southern BBQ chain - Woody’s Bar-B-Q - has great news for its fans in Nassau County, Florida… Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Fernandina is back and under new ownership. First established in 2005 at 474323 E State Road 200, the purveyor of everything from pulled pork to Sky High pies was previously under the ownership of Daryl and Yvette Wood. During the restaurant’s closure through the Coronavirus Pandemic, the couple made the difficult decision to sell. Fortunately, they found the ideal candidate to resume ownership of the Fernandina Beach-Amelia Island landmark in seasoned foodservice professional, Nikki Carson.
Having first gotten her start in the restaurant industry at the young age of just 14, Carson rose through the ranks from hostess to general manager. Included in her colorful list of credits are a four-year turn at Buffalo Wild Wings and a 15-year stint at Hooter’s. She recalls her work at a BBQ restaurant in Virginia among some of the best times she ever had, which is what drew her to Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra in January 2020.
“We recognized right away that there was something very special about this lady,” said Yolanda Mills-Mawman, Co-founder and President of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. “In addition to her extensive knowledge of the business, we could see that she was invested - not only in our company’s success, but also in the enjoyment of the customers she served and her camaraderie with the other staff members. When the opportunity presented itself at Fernandina, Woody and I knew Nikki would prove a perfect fit.”
Having always managed restaurants for other owners, Carson is excited to take this new step. “From front of the house to back of the house, I’ve done it all. I felt like I was at a place in my career where I needed to do more, but the opportunity had never presented itself before. This is a big jump for me, but the stars were aligned, and everything worked out.”
She credits the company’s co-founders Yolanda and Woody, along with VP of Operations, Jay Vail for helping her make the transition to franchise ownership. Carson is incredibly excited to bring Woody’s back to Fernandina and has received a warm reception from patrons and staff members alike - many of whom were without work for six weeks before the transition. She believes the future success of her new restaurant lies in the fact that so many of her staff members are local residents with a large base of regulars, although she hopes to woo new patrons to Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Fernandina, as well.
“I believe owner involvement is extremely important and I want my patrons to know that I will be here,” said Carson. “Consistency is key and I’m an advocate of the delivery of great food along with fast and friendly service - which is the foundation of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. I’m so happy to be part of a people-based company and a great supportive team. At Woody’s, the customer comes first - after all, we wouldn’t be here without them.”
A personal fan of the Smoked Wings on the Woody’s Bar-B-Q menu, Carson highly recommends the Taste of Woody’s to anyone who’s new to her restaurant to get an idea of virtually everything they sell. In addition to dine-in, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Fernandina offers a drive-thru and delivery through Doordash. Having lived in Jacksonville for six years, Carson plans to make the move to Amelia Island soon. She hopes to create a family-friendly environment at Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Fernandina and plans to reintroduce the popular Trivia Nights in the near future. Currently a senior at Creekside High School in St. Johns County, Carson looks forward to introducing her 17-year-old son, Cameron, to the business.
About Woody’s Bar-B-Q®
After opening their first Woody’s Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent nearly four decades setting the “bar” higher for classic Southern barbecue. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for barbecue, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody’s Bar-B-Q brand to locations reaching from the Deep South where barbecue is king to the Northeast and Midwestern fronts. Perhaps best known for their legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs, Woody’s has also built quite a following among patrons with their secret recipe barbecue sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared comfort food-inspired side dishes.
SOURCE Woody’s Bar-B-Q®
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